Shock, outrage over Wardha lecturer set ablaze by stalker; women in Hinganghat hold prayers as survivor's condition remains critical
Many women in Hinganghat town of Maharashtra's Wardha district recited prayers at local temples for the speedy recovery of a college professor who was set ablaze by her stalker earlier this week
Many women in Hinganghat on Wednesday recited prayers at local temples for the speedy recovery of Ankita Pisudde, a lecturer, who was set ablaze by her stalker
While an all-religious prayer meet was organised at a temple in the town, a gathering was held in a school located near the spot of the incident
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said his govt will not tolerate atrocities against women and stressed on swiftly bringing the perpetrators in such cases to justice
Amid outrage, state Director General of Police Subodh Kumar Jaiswal urged women to report incidents of stalking to police without any hesitation
Wardha/Nagpur/Mumbai: Two days after a 25-year-old lecturer was set ablaze by her stalker in Maharashtra's Wardha district, leaving her critically injured, the brutal incident has galvanised common people as well as politicians in expressing outrage and saying prayers as the victim continues to be in critical condition.
A day after a shutdown was observed in Hinganghat town in protest against the incident which occurred on Monday, many women in Hinganghat on Wednesday recited prayers at local temples for the speedy recovery of the victim, Ankita Pisudde.
"Women from our colony came together and prayed for improvement in Ankita's health. She is very critical. We are chanting mantras and firmly believe that God will save her life," said Vaishali Bhute, a resident of Sayaji Nagar.
While an all-religious prayer meet was organised at a temple in the town, a gathering was held in a school located near the spot of the incident.
In Mumbai, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said his government will not tolerate atrocities against women and stressed on swiftly bringing the perpetrators in such cases to justice.
After visiting the hospital in Nagpur where the victim is admitted, state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh announced that the trial of the accused would be fast-tracked, and well-known lawyer Ujjwal Nikam would be appointed as special prosecutor as per the request of the woman's relatives.
Meanwhile, the opposition BJP on Wednesday alleged "delay" on part of the state government in depositing the compensation amount for the victim's treatment.
State BJP vice president Chitra Wagh visited the Orange Hospital in Nagpur and also the spot of the incident in Hinganghat on Wednesday.
"Can you call this as the state of Chhatrapati Shivaji? Women are not safe in Maharashtra. Three such incidents have been reported after the Hinganghat incident," she claimed.
Wardha district collector Vivek Bhimanwar said the amount of Rs 4 lakh was deposited in the bank account of the hospital towards meeting tentative medical expenses of the victim for now.
"We have made a provision of around Rs 12 lakh, as estimated by the hospital towards her medical expenses," he said.
Earlier in the day, Wardha police transferred the probe into the case to a special team led by Pulgaon town's deputy superintendent of police (DySP) Trupti Jadhav.
"As per state government's orders, we are moving an application seeking trial in a fast track court. We are also forwarding a proposal to get a special public prosecutor to represent the victim," Wardha Wardha Superintendent of Police Basavraj Teli said.
Amid outrage, state Director General of Police Subodh Kumar Jaiswal urged women to report incidents of stalking to police without any hesitation.
Meanwhile, residents in the victim Pisudde's Daroda village are in shock over the incident.
A resident said he had never imagined that the accused Vikesh Nagrale (27) — who was arrested after the incident — will take such extreme step.
"Vikesh was warned by Pisudde's father several times, but he continued to stalk her. Vikesh and Pisudde were friends more than a year ago, but later she started avoiding him. We all are in shock," said Vivek Timande, a villager.
He said the accused had worked as a JCB machine operator after doing a technician course, and later as a contract technician with Railways.
Gajanan Devadhe, a neighbour of the Pisudde family, said the victim is one of the highly-qualified women from the village.
"She is MSC in Botany and BEd. Her younger brother Prajjwal is an engineer," he said.
Earlier in the day, the issue was raised in the Lok Sabha by Ramdas Tadas of the BJP demanding adequate compensation to the victim.
Navneet Rana, the MP from neighbouring Amravati, also expressed her concern about the safety of women in the Lower House.
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